Small businesses in Australia continue to push the boundaries of our ‘glocal’ economy. The ShortPress Small Talk series profiles a diverse range of small businesses to find out what they do and what makes them tick.
Vinomofo is a wine site that works with producers to sell only the wines the founders enjoy drinking. Anything else doesn’t get sold, and its nearly 350,000 members have given it the buying power to set prices low. ShortPress sat down with the company’s co-founder and CEO, Andre Eikmeier.
ShortPress: Describe your small business in less than 50 words.
Vinomofo: Vinomofo is an online wine store experience that can change your wine world.
More than just a wine store, Vinomofo is a movement. A tribe of vino-loving mofos – the drinkers and the makers – united by wine.
The most epic wine deals on the planet, curated to your taste and delivered to your door, with love. Boom.
What inspires you as a business owner?
V: Companies changing the way we do things, for the better. Like Uber, for example. Stuff that improves my life. And people who want to make a difference.
What does a typical day for you look like?
V: I travel from Adelaide to Melbourne every week, for about 3 days. So lots of travel. My days are often packed with back-to-back meetings where everything gets solved collaboratively. Mostly, it's making lots of decisions, and keeping people inspired and motivated and believing in our vision.
What have your biggest challenges been so far and how have you overcome them?
V: Being in business against retail giants Woollies and Coles has had its challenges, but we've simply focused on our strengths and our supplier relationships.
People are the very best thing about our business and the biggest challenge. Focusing on our mission, vision and values creates a good core, and then just caring more about everyone.
What about your biggest learnings?
V: Get your product and customer experience right and people will tell their friends about you. You can't trick or bribe customers to join; they will just take advantage and then disappear.
If you could start over again, would you do anything differently?
V: Yes, I would have started Vinomofo at age 25.
What advice would you give to budding small business owners?
V: Get the foundations right. Mission, vision, values – these are the reasons people will believe in you, and want to be a part of what you're doing.
Who are the business leaders you look up to and why?
V: Seth Godin – a smart and idealistic marketer, he really understands what's happening and what we all need to do.
Where to now for Vinomofo?
V: We're taking Vinomofo to the world. We’re currently setting up a team in China, which is exciting!